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Last week I had a dream where I was in the White House (although it was much smaller) and Ronald Reagan was sending Air Strike missions directly from the White House. I guess it was the Apocalypse or something. Occasionally people's clothes would take on a white trim and they'd be possessed by some dark force; then we'd have to poke them with a antidote syringe to bring them back. I got possessed once and really didn't want the shot, but they did it in my back so it was OK. I also had a heart-to-heart with Ron about his acting career back in the 40's. Anyway, I woke up and then Mark and I went to the mall and I told him about the dream and some strange quotes from it, but that of course was still a dream and now I've forgotten the strange quotes.

Being in Japan,  Misuzu and I couldn't go to the Gonzoriffic screening in real life, but I went to the screening in my dream last night. First, several of that circle of friends and I were on a professional movie set filming a musical. I didn't know any of the choreography so I was just wildly jumping around and stuff. Although the shoot was not over, I decided that it would be better to go to the screening. I started my way through the maze of the studio building, noting that there was a sign for John Waters' office on the way. When I got to the screening room, it was like a soundstage that had been converted into a theatre. There was a slope and a wooden stage at the front with a screen hanging down. I sat near the back to get a better view of the screen, but then someone informed me that the movie would be projected from the stage onto a small screen fixed to the back wall. So I moved to a seat somewhere in Andrew's vicinity. First there was an experimental film made by a guy that looked kind of like Seth Rogen. The film was projected on both the front and back screens. Much of it was like a Brakage film with split second shots of his cat and home mixed with washes of amorphous color. At one point a picture of Malcolm X flashed on the screen and a group of Nation Of Islam folks near the front of the theatre gave a standing ovation. Then Andrew's Gonzoriffic movies went on and we all had to crane our necks backward to see since they were showing the films onto the back of the theatre. Apparently, no one but Andrew and I really cared. Afterwards, your films went on and afterwards the press was interviewing the Gonzoriffic folks present. They kept asking me questions about being a Gonzoroffic collaborator, and I kept having to remind them that except for "Psychovixens" (which was not shown as in the real life screening), I only made the music.
If you're looking for some not quite new music, here is my top 10 list that I posted on Amazon along with links and some short blurbs:

10.  The Good, the Bad & the Queen by The Good the Bad & The Queen
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Matthew Comegys says:
  "Finally, here's a supergroup that delivers on their potential.  The strange combination  of Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz), Paul Simonson (The Clash), Simon Tong (The Verve), and Tony Allen (Fela Kuti) set aside just enough ego to perfectly mix brit pop, dub, and African percussion on this stellar album."

9.  Can Cladders by The High Llamas
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Matthew Comegys says:
  "Sean O'Hagan finally manages to eke out some some songs that match his pristine Steely Dan/Brian Wilson-style productions.  This is easily the High Llama's most consistent album."

8.  Andorra by Caribou
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Matthew Comegys says:
  "An amazing recreation of 60's sunshine pop through an electronic music lens."

7.  In Rainbows by Radiohead
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Matthew Comegys says:
  "With all the hubbub about this album's digital self-release, it's been easy to miss that this is Radiohead's best album since "Kid A."  The band sounds like a band again, and incorporates much of their recent sonic explorations into some of their best songwriting ever."

6.  Digital Shades Vol.1 by M83
Matthew Comegys says:
  "M83 ditches their trademark dramatic loud guitar and pulsing drums to find the glistening analog synth ambiance underneath.    I hope this is a sign of things to come rather than a detour for this band."

5.  Golden Pollen by Savath & Savalas
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  "A totally chill Spanish language space age bachelor pad.  This is what the Starbucks crowd SHOULD be listening to."

4.  Sound of Silver by LCD Soundsystem
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Matthew Comegys says:
  "Substituting the cynical vibe of their debut with real emotions, plus adding in a few tricks from the German electronic masters, LCD Soundsystem makes a quantum leap over their earlier recordings.  This is dance music for the thinking man."

3.  Person Pitch by Panda Bear
Matthew Comegys says:
  "Panda Bear from Animal Collective created a warped pop masterpiece with this one.  Swirling, surreal distortions of 60's pop float the listener through Panda's lysergic soundscapes.  As an added bonus, Mr. Bear's vocals sound an awful lot like Brian Wilson at his prime."

2.  Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? by Of Montreal
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Matthew Comegys says:
  "Kevin Barnes' band has always had a little too much sugar for my ears, but mixed with his recent depression, this album is a perfect mix of melancholy psychedelic glam pop.  Also includes a 12 minute epic that earns its running time."

1.  Goodbye by Ulrich Schnauss
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Matthew Comegys says:
  "Ulrich Schnauss consolidates the electronica of his last two albums into a pure digital shoegazer sound.  If you want to find this year's "Loveless," "Goodbye" is your best bet.  Let's hope the title isn't an accurate statement from Schnauss"
In my last entry, we looked at some decent albums that are marred by awful cover art.  Now we'll see some albums that I bought pretty much on the basis of their cover art.  I may have seen their name in a music article somewhere, or done a touch of research before buying, but I hadn't heard these folks' music previously and the art was the hook that got my attention.  This is not to say that these are my favorite covers ever, but something about them got my attention:

Astrobrite - 2005 - Pinkshiny Ultrablast
Musical Rating (3 out of 5)
I'm sure what caught my attention here is that the cover resembles a lo-fi and slightly more colorful rendition of My Bloody Valentine's "Loveless."  The music ends up sounding like a low-fi "Loveless" too, although as you can see from my rsting this was not completely a good thing.

Camel - 1974 - Mirage
Musical Rating (3 out of 5)
This cover shows a gleeful disregard for corporate copyright law, and I believe that the US cover is different.  Musically, this is just ok jazz-prog, so it wasn't really a home run in the blind purchase department.

Diga Rhythm Band - 1976 - Diga
Musical Rating (3.5 out of 5)
Keep in mind that the actual cover has some silver foil giving the cover a strange 3D effect.  Turns out this is one of Grateful Dead percussionist Mickey Hart's first foreys into percussive world beat.  It's musically prety cool for including almost no non-percussion instruments.

Engineers - 2005 - Engineers
Musical Rating (4.5 out 5)
I think the artwork here spoke to the more anal-retentive, architecture-loving part of my psyche.  Fortunately, the music also appeals to that part of my psyche with some really well-constructed, modern shoegazer sounds.

The Essex Green - 1999 - Everything Is Green
Musical Rating (3.5 out of 5)
This one sold me because it strongly suggests some kind of psychedelic freak folk coming out of the UK around 1967.  The disc itself is definitely aiming for that sound too, but it doesn't quite hit the mark.

Flying Saucer Attack - 1995 - Further
Musical Rating (5 out of 5)
The band name and the cover photo both suggest something completely otherworldly, and the music completely delivers.  Whispy vocals and endlessly delayed acoustic guitars leave behing a vapour trail and occasionally collide with industrial noise.  What fun!

Gandalf - 1969 - Gandalf
Musical Rating (3.5 out of 5)
First the cover image scared me, but then hypnotized me and forced me to pick up a copy.  Musically, we've got some low key psychedelic pop that occassionally offers a pretty groovy standout track.

Gong - 1974 - You
Musical Rating (5 out of 5)
I'm a sucker for both Mayan and cosmic imagery, so this cover called me out on both counts.  Fortunately, this is likely the best psychedelic album from the mid 70's with lots of wild percussion, synths, and space guitar that pputs Pink Floyd to shame.

Guitar - 2006 - Saltykisses
Musical Rating (3 out of 5)
Here's another one that made me think of "Loveless."  And once again it doesn;t really live up to that pedegree although there are a couple of great tracks spread out throughout this otherwise spotty electronic shoegazing album.

July - 1968 - July
Musical Rating (4 out of 5)
Psychedelic horror show covers usually get my attention.  This one ended up on my search list for several months just because the cover was so wild.  The music is pretty much up to snuff, with a few tracks standing out as 'shoulda been' psych pop hit singles.

The Millennium - 1968 - Begin
Musical Rating (5 out of 5)
I spotted this one while reading an article about Beach Boy album covers.  The same fellow put together both the Beach Boys' "Friends" album cover and this one.  Musically, this one quickly vaulted to my top albums period and is in fact better than most Beach Boys albums.

Rainbow Ffolly - 1968 - Sallies Fforth
Musical Rating (4.5 out of 5)
Once again my love for psychedelic monstrosities forced me to pay heed to the cover of this one.  I'd have to rate this one as a lost classic as it's a damn tuneful example of psychedelic pop with some high-quality consistancy.

Savath and Savalas - 2007 - Golden Pollen
Musical Rating (4.5 out of 5)
Here's my most recent blind purchase.  Something about the collage art on the cover struck a nerve in my brain, and the music has since been serving as one of my prime sleepy time albums.  It's totally chill Spanish language, acoustically-based electronica.

Ulrich Schnauss - 2001 - Far Away Trains Passing By
Musical Rating (4 out of 5)
The stark cover photo and mention of Slowdive amongst the Japanese sticker on the package caught my attention.  Strangely enough, Mr. Schnauss' music is the closest I've heard to my own electronic constructions.  That said, I'd suggest his next two albums ("A Strangely Isolated Place" and "Goodbye") if you want to check this guy out.  "Goodbye" has an even better cover anyway.
Unlike movie poster art, which often changes with a DVD release or theatrical re-release, album art is more or less set in stone.  I really dig cover art, and that's probably one of the reasons that I still buy, rather than just download music.  In fact, I've made a few blind purchases based on cover art along (maybe I'll make a post for those too).  Even when listening to music, I find that the cover colours my impressions of the sonic components.  I've seen plenty of sites for horrific cover art, but it's safe to assume that the music is not going to be any great shakes either.  "Tino," "Devastatin' Dave," and "Joyce" probably deserve the art that they got.  The following albums, however, range from pretty good to absolutely great.  Someone in marketing, or maybe the artist themselves, simply made a very unfortunate decision with the cover.  I've tried to choose covers that are completely misguided, with little (or at least a very misplaced) sense of irony.  If you see these, don't get scared off; the music offsets the gag inducing covers.  For any aspiring cover designers, you may note that almost all of these include images of the artists, so maybe it's a good idea to leave those folks off of the front cover.

The Beach Boys - 1966 - Pet Sounds
My Musical Rating -  (5 out of 5)
Many of you know that I'm a Brian Wilson fanatic and I wholeheartedly agree that this is one of the best, if not the best popular album ever released.  But the cover art really does stink.  I'm sure someone at Capitol marketing thought that this would be a clever visual pun, but they were just wrong... damn wrong.  Searching for a silver lining, I guess that the lettering font remains pretty hip.

Flying Saucer Attack - 2000 - Mirror
My Musical Rating - (3.5 out of 5)
I feel a little bad about including this one, because I think the artist really was trying to make a cool album cover.  Unfortunately, we've ended up with shambles of cliched psychedelic art framing a gloriously ugly and low-fi looking mirrorball. Oh, well.

The Beta Band - 2004 - Heroes To Zeros
My Musical Rating -  (4 out of 5)
The Beta Band had some great album covers in the past, but for some reason they decided to go out with this image of comic book pap.  I used to collect comic books, and I still think that this delusion of super heroism comes off as horribly cheesy.  Note that someone in the band decided that they wanted to be a robot... and the art department let them.  Yikes!

Jimi Hendrix - 1970 (rel. 1997) - First Rays Of The New Rising Sun
My Musical Rating -  (4 out of 5)
We'll let Hendrix off the hook, as he had been dead for 25 years when this revision of his final album was released.  It looks like someone tried Photoshop for the first time and got really excited because it only took him, like 10 minutes!  I especialy appreciate the generic wallpaper background.  This one makes me pine for the original "Cry Of Love" album art, and I've always thought that that one looked like a portrait of Hendrix made from pubes.

The Soft Machine - 1969 - Volume Two
My Musical Rating - (4 out of 5)
I can't say I really know what's going on here, but I'm sure I don't like it.  A more conservative fellow might say that the sort of naked woman image is dirty and/or obscene.  I have to say that I have a bigger problem with the fact that the predominant color here is doo-doo brown, and based on the texture it appears that the artistic tool of choice may in fact have been doo-doo.

Steely Dan - 1972 - Can't Buy A Thrill
My Musical Rating -  (3.5 out of 5)
I guess that the band was going for 'wacky and surreal,' but they apparently weren't worrying about stuff like composition, color selection, or font.  We've got baseball team lettering along with an image that seems to be surreal simply for the sake of being surreal all tossed on top of a cloudy pool of vomit.  There's a thrown together feel here that kept me from pulling this one out of the record cabinet for a good 10 years.

The Move - 1968 - Shazam
My Musical Rating -  (3.5 out of 5)
More superhero delusions!  At least the Beta Band got someone that might actually do the art in a comic book for their cover.  This looks more like a 5th graders' math class doodlings.  I'm going to blame the band here as the album title is in itself a highly questionable idea.... unless you're a funk band... which these fellows aren't.

Pierre Moerlen's Gong - 1979 - Downwind
My Musical Rating -  (4 out of 5)
Pierre really wanted to convey the passion of his playing.  The percussionist spent hours preening and posing in front of his prized gong, until the photographer snapped this one rapturous, indescribable moment!  At least that's what I've been assuming happened here.  Based on this cover alone, I've had to wonder if one of my all-time favorite rock drummers was in fact a wussy asshole.

The Grateful Dead - 1972 - Europe '72
My Musical Rating -  (4 out of 5)
Y'know, a lot of people stereotype the Dead as a bunch of tripped-out, smelly hippies, which I don't think is true, at least not for the band themselves.  Unfortunately, this cover does little to dissuade that image.  "Ha ha! The dude missed his mouth 'cause the ice cream wanted to experience the day glow universe of his hair!  That, like, so explains existance and loving my fellow man, man!"  Maybe they should have saved this one for a tiny insert somewhere inside the gatefold, huh?

Eno/Cale - 1990 - Wrong Way Up
My Musical Rating -  (4 out of 5)
It looks like someone tried Photoshop for the first time and got really excited because it only took him, like 3 minutes!  The clip art is especially a nice touch.  In Cale and Eno's defense, they've recently re-released the album with a much less sense offending, although still crappy cover.

Steve Hillage - 1976 - L
My Musical Rating -  (4.5 out of 5)
Ol' Steve would eventually figure out how to adorn his albums with some great graphics, but not here.  On "L" he looks like he's channeling his new age spirit through the shimmering light of Osiris.  And all on a five doller budget!  More than anything else, it's Steve's quintessential expression of "guitar playing" pain that makes me want to find all exisiting copies of this cover slick, and burn them (not the LP itself, mind you).

Steve Hillage - 1977 - Motivation Radio
My Musical Rating -  (4 out of 5)
Word is that the folks at Virgin Records wanted to market Hillage as a new age Jesus type of guy, which I think explains this one.  He also wrote lots of lyrics about aliens and stuff, which might explain the radio telescope.  This might be a nice cover art example of the "written by committee" concept.  At least there's a nice tarot card image on the back side of the cover.

Ash Ra Tempel IV - 1975 - Inventions For Electric Guitar
My Musical Rating -  (4.5 out of 5)
I laughed at this one for years.  "How could anyone possibly want to appear like this on their cover!  This must be the most offensive guitar wanker ever!"  Finally, I came across a download and discovered that it's a damn fine album of spacey ambience.  I guess it's a little like the Moerlen album cover with the gong behind him and all, but Manuel Gottsching's expression nicely coveys a sense of him being really stoned and not knowing where he is.  The thing that makes me really laugh, though, is that really prissy looking blue scarf that he's wearing.  I can't imagine that that could have been cool even in the 70's...  right?

Prince - 1988 - Lovesexy
My Musical Rating -  (3.5 out of 5)
People usually cite "Sign Of The Times" as the end of Prince's most creative era.  Sonically, I'd be happy to include "Lovesexy."  The music here's quite good, even better than the first version known as "The Black Album," so I'm guessing that it's the vomit inducing cover that keeps it off the list.  Even I have to admit that I don't own this one as, well, I don't want to be caught dead with this cover.  Just for "art's" sake, let's get past the fact that we have an unfortunate photo of a man that nobody wants to see naked.  We still have to deal with the fact that there's a flower pistal pointed in his direction that looks uncomfortably like a penis.

     Although I havent headed in that direction since March, Misuzu and I have made a couple trips to the Tokyo area this month.  Three weeks ago we went to Disneyland, and it was a pretty groovy day although it did rain a little at night.  We had a taxi pick us up at the god-awful hour of 3:30am and didn't get back to the apartment until 1am.  This time I went armed with my Lomo camera (a paragon of Soviet technology) and tried to make this more of a psychedelic amusement park experience.  Here are some of the results:





     We made a second journey to Tokyo this weekend with the primary goal of going to the US Embassy to allow Misuzu to be a legal resident in the States next year.  I also had the chance to explore the Shibuya Tower Records and screw around with an authentic Moog synthesizer.  Sunday night we met up with Kastu, the old manager at Ueda school, and took him to the only good Mexican restaurant I know in Japan.  Afterwards the three of us headed off for Tokyo Tower.  It was my first time there and we got a nice night view.
     Monday morning we finished our embassy preparations by making copies and taking visa photos, and the went to Odaiba to eat lunch at a freaky Chinese restaurant I like that seems to be modeled after a 1930's Shangai gangster hideout.  The mall it's in is themed after Rome, so it's a strange affair to eat on the balcony and get a completely different vibe depending on which way you look.  Following the embassy, which went pretty well, we found a narrow yakitori alleyway in Shinjuku with restaurants that can't be too much larger than a walk-in closet.  Then it was back home.
     Recently, I've been having lots of strange space oriented dreams.  The first one was almost a lucid dream.  I wasn't aware that I was dreaming, but I figured out that if I concentrated I could transport myself anywhere I wanted.  After a few random tests I decided to see if I could put myself in a space station.  I ended up a what was a space station themed ride that was part of a complex in Centennial Park in Atlanta (don't look for it; it doesn't exist in this reality).  Thinking "what the hell," I went ahead and rode the ride.  Afterwards, I entered a civil rights museum the was attached to the exit.  Coretta Scott King and the ghost of Marting Luther King, Jr. gave me a tour (I know that she has now passed on too, but once again this was a dream).  MLK seemed really focused on showing me a display of his childhood school supplies.
     The second dream occurred about a week later.  Misuzu and I were taking a trip to the moon, where there were two colonies.  The first one we visited was the smaller, newer one.  It was actually situated outside, and large pumps were blasting air into the vacuum.  We discovered that a sociopathic deviant was one of the residents of the community, and decided to move on.  We took a shuttlecraft to the larger, enclosed colony.  It resembled one of the large, multi-story concrete buildings often found at Japanese tourist attractions.  After looking around for a few minutes, some sort of emergency began and most people evacuated the colony.  For some reason we stayed and found a fellow in the front of the building patching up a breah in the glass with a sweatshirt.  I looked out the front window, and to the left the landscape was very moonlike, but to the right the sun was rising and there seemed to be some plants that suggested some sort of terraforming activities.
     The most recent dream occurred last week.  I was at my parents' house packing a bag for my second space flight, which would last eight days.  I threw in some long sleeve shirts, my i-pod, and for some reason a DVD set of "Three's Company."  A military fellow came by in a van to pick me up, and then picked up the other two crew members.  At first he accidently took us to the projects instead of the launch center, but soon we were on our way.  I was thinking about the fact that I need to find a new job next year and that having two spaceflights under my belt would help in the search.  Finally we got to the launch pad to fly off in our Apollo styled spacecraft.  Two things were unexpected.  First off, the capsule was in fact a converted Ford Aerostar.  There was also an old lady coming along with us.  Apparently, this flight was going to take the first 'old woman' into space.  She kept asking about various bits of machinery.  I'd answer with something like "That's to circulate oxygen in space," and she'd say something like "We didn't need those sorts of things back in my day."  I was worried that I'd get really annoyed over an eight day period.  Shortly before lift off, we noticed that the sun roof was open, and it wouldn't close completely.  Some engineers came up to duct tape it shut and we found several other holes that kept the thing from being airtight.  As the countdown rolled on, we finally noticed a huge tear and that much of the capsule was mad of blue tarp, so we hit the abort button.  The capsule slid off of top, down the rocket, and into a deep pond surrounding the launch pad.  I got out and noticed that my wallet was drifting down into the depths.  I decided to swim down and get it, where some kind of lady of the lake helped me out.  I had almost reached the surface of the water when I woke up.

Andrew asked for a bit of the art that I've been working on.  I don't have a scanner, and only a crappy digital to work with, so you'll have to deal with these images of marker art:

I guess I haven't been posting much lately.  I've certainly been busy with my record review writing and although I didn't get much music made in late August or September, October has been a pretty productive music month.  Additionally, I've been making some fun abstract art with markers.  The main point is that I'm having a pretty good time, but maybe it's not so adventurous.  The adventure in waiting is now Misuzu and my return to the States next year (if you have any job connections, regardless of location, I'd love to hear them).  Life is pretty even keeled and I don't want to fill this space with ramblings like petty office annoyances or anything.  But I'll try to recap a few recent events.

My old coworker Scott came out from Nagoya a few weeks ago.  He wanted to see a stone Buddha in Suwa, about a one and a half hour drive from Ueda.  Misuzu and I took him out there.  I wasn't particularly impressed by Suwa.  It should be nice, being situated in the mountains in a valley with a nice lake.  Driving into the city, the suburbs were pretty ample.  The town itself was pretty neglected though.  The clock outside of the train station was about five hours off (very rare for Japan) and the businesses in the downtown area had definitely atrophied.  It made me think more of a rural southeastern US town than a Japanese city.  The storefronts were very retro, but more in an old, dirty, and abandoned way than in a charming, nostalgic way.  We decided that Suwa is like what all of Japan would be like if China had invaded twenty years ago.  We did track down the stone Buddha, which is situated in the middle of a rice field.  It had a very ancient look, with a tiny hear and large body.  Even stranger were the carvings on its front.  Although several hundred years old, the carvings looked very Mayan and in fact resembled the Mayan symbol for moon.  It really makes one wonder about the true shape of history and reality.

Back at work I was asked about a month ago to make displays for our kid students' self study.  My drawing was supposed to be a tree upon which we'd tape students' photos.  Now that they're up on the wall I'm a little worried.  I was trying to make a tree, but now that I'm seeing it again my art looks somewhat like a mushroom cloud.  I'm not sure if I should say anything or not.  Maybe I should just wait for a complaint.

As you may have noticed, I've enjoyed logging in some dreams these days, so here's one from a few nights ago.  I was having some sort of party at my parents' house.  There was a knock on the door and some thugs announed that they would be robbing everyone.  I didn't want to lose my license or credit cards, so I kept the money on me for them to steal, but hid the rest on top of a bookshelf in the guest room.  Unfortunately the thugs found it anyway.  I'm sure this illustrates a bit of my paranoia, but I'm not sure which part.
As many of you reading this are aware, Misuzu and I took a trip to the States last week to have our American wedding reception and visit around.  We started out by heading to Delaware to visit my aunt.  On the way we had a six hour layover in Minneapolis and met up with Misuzu's friend Sara, who used to be a teacher at Ueda School (before my time though).  Fortunately we had time to get away from the airport, although only enough to head for the Mall Of America.  It's the biggest mall in the world and features an amusement park in the middle.  We used the opportunity to eat at the California Cafe and chat.  By 10pm, we had made our way to BWI and took a late night drive to Rehoboth Beach, DE.

At the beach I gave Misuzu a tour of several childhood haunts.  We grabbed pizza at Louie's, beach fries at Gus & Gus, played mini-golf on the roof of a beachside building, and I made Misuzu get on the Paratrooper at Funland.  Aunt Cathy and I also took her to eat some fake Japanese food at a hibachi place, and my aunt decided to introduce Misuzu to a few episodes of "I Love Lucy" (which is unknown in Japan).  Misuzu also took a liking to Aunt Cathy's dog and we were afraid that she might try to pack him in her suitcase.

After a nasty time back at the Baltimore Airport, we took a Wednesday morning flight to Atlanta.  Of course the main event was the wedding reception on Saturday, which went well.  We recepted at an Italian place near Perimeter Mall and had time to acknowledge both family and friends.  I was afraid that I wouldn't have much time to talk to Devin and Andrew, but fortunately a post reception shindig at the house gave us a little time to be sociable.

Other than the reception, there was a little time for tomfoolery.  We joined my father and Mark for a trip to the new World Of Coca-Cola.  It was more amusing than the first and somehow found the context to include nipple rings.  We also hit up some great BBQ and went to the 3D IMAX to see the new Harry Potter film, which was rife with plot holes (the book had time to fill in those holes).

The flight back to Japan was on Tuesday, putting us back in Ueda Wednesday night.  Then I had to work on Thursday.  Hello, jet lag.
Yes, these are the reminants of yet another dream.  I just find that the more I write these down, the more I am rewarded with more completely insane yet vivid dreams.  For those of you wondering about real life, we've been woking, playing with the Wii, and watching the weeks fly by at an alarming rate.

Anyway, what came to me last night was a re-run of some sort of early 80's sitcom.  It had "three" in the title along the lines of "Three's Company," "Three's A Crowd" or something.  The setting of this show was in a prison focusing on a cell of three inmates.

The lead character was the relatively nice regular guy who was dumb enough to try and hold up a convinience store (he was just trying to make money for his family!).  For a mental image think of a younger John Tuturro.  As he entered prison, his old friend was just leaving.  This was the supporting character who is inevitably more amusing than the lead role in a sitcom.  He looked like a more disheveled Larry Dallas from the aforementioned "Three's Company."  He was being released from the mental wing of the prison for his sociopathic, ultra-violent behavior.  But keep in mind this is supposed to be the "fan favorite" character who gets most of the laughs.

Our nice guy lead settled into his unshared cell, which for some reason was a large, enclosed garden atrium.  Although in prison, he was somewhat happy with his comfortable solitude.

Meanwhile, the sociopath was released into the care of his uncle (aged maybe in his late 40's).  They went to a dimly-lit bar where the sociopath, just released from prison, proceed to pointlessly pick a bar fight and beat the crap out of a few people, escaping before the police arrive.

Instead of finding a hiding place, this insane fellow decides that he liked prison better anyway and decided to break back into prison by digging a tunnel from the outside into the prison.  The guards discover him as he starts, but let him continue as tunnelling work since he WAS trying to find his way in.

As the sociopath makes his way into the prison, the uncle is also arrested for bungling the "baby-sitting" job so completely.  Because of this, he is intensely furious towards his nephew.  In keeping with sitcom conventions, all three of these men are placed in the large atrium cell for more wacky adventures to insue.  The role of the nice guy lead is of course to be the mediator between the angry uncle and the sociapath yet annoyed that he now has to share his alloted space.  The role of the nephew is just to be as insane as possible, while the uncle continually hurls bitter insults and threats towards everyone.  I'd imagine that they would be at least one vicious, bloody fight in each laugh-out-loud episode.

Somewhere after this set up, the dream morphed into Misuzu and I going to a commercial haunted house.  There were lots of strange, spectral special effects in the victorian-styled rooms.  The final room had some museum displays to look at, but then we found that we were standing on a tube worm floor.  The exit passed through the Bugs Bunny Funland Entertainment Area, which we didn't want to pay for, so we exited the haunted house backwards, throwing off the timing of all the would've-been-creepy special effects.  But in a way that made them a little more creepy as they were less predictable.
Last night was the going away party for the manager at Aeon.  It was a jolly time and I ended up throwing three Chu-Hi's down my gullet.  It wasn't a lot, but ended up creating a big headache today, and perhaps contributing to the following dream.

The dream started in Devin's apartment.  Misuzu was there and we were all hanging out.  We were anticipating a few Mexican exchange students, and Misuzu and I were to tutor them in calculus, despite the fact that neither of us know calculus particularly well.

The surroundings shifted into the likeness of a castle as we began the ill-fated lesson.  Our families were going to have a big banquet at the castle.  It was a light brown Renaissance looking place with a long entry path.  There were stained-glass windows showing images of samurai and Japanese history.  As the family gathered, it was getting a little crowded and there was still plenty of time until dinner, so Misuzu and I took a tour of the exceptionally large castle grounds.

Our tour guid took us around the large estate using a pod vehicle which traveled on a series of cables.  A few times we had to negotiate traffic as some young children were speeing aorund on the cables in their own pods.  For some reason the tour guide let us out at the far end of the estate and we'd have to take a long walk back to the castle.

Misuzu and I took separate routes back to the castle.  There was no rush so I spent a little time outdoors.  I discovered a magazine on the ground detailing strange and somewhat sadistic punishments for those who were unfortunate enough to find their way into the Twilight Zone.  One of the victims was floating their way down the river.

I started down the road back to the castle.  A group of black-robe clad folks carrying long wooden sticks surrounded me as if to abduct me.  But they decided that they had no interest in me and just as quickly left.  They weren't the only worry though as some tiny cars occasionally passed looking for corpses.  They weren't very good at their job as they tended to carry off people who were simply sleeping.  I came to the conclusion that a nap would be a bad idea.

I met up with Patrick, the other foreign teacher at Aeon, and we came across the obsticle of a seven story apartment building.  Somehow we ended up leaping from balcony to balcony, and Patrick noted that this method of traveling was perhaps unsafe.  So we climbed through an apartment to get to ground level.  I noted that Andrew Shearer's backpack seemed to be in a basement, but I didn;t look for him as we were basically breaking and entering.

Patrick and I headed up the road to the castle, and I heard Andrew playing dirty songs with a band from the apartment, confirming that the backpack must have been his.  In fact , you could hear the music clearly in the entire surrounding area, including the courtyard in front of the castle.  I waited until a song was over to call Andrew on my cell phone to say "hi."

I returned to the castle where it was about dinner time.  There were placecards marking everyone's seat.  The children's table was in another room behind a glass door.  Everyone was excited about watching a tv program entitled "Medical Procedures Of The Black Man" after dinner (I know this sounds strangely racist, but back at the real-life Aeon party a university student told Misuzu and I that she wanted to date a foreigner.  We thought of trying to set her up with Misuzu's black coworker, but she then said she only wanted to date a white foreigner.  Misuzu and I obviously took this as strangely racist.).